As my title suggests, I’d forgotten how enjoyable and all consuming I find painting whales to be. I haven’t drawn one in over 8 weeks so it was a pleasant surprise as I worked away on my old friend, the Humpback, and his new companion, the Sperm Whale.
I got so carried away working on these two chaps that I only had time left enough to draw a single feline representative. He is not one of my own beloved cats, nor even one of my neighbours either. He is instead “felis ornata” (otherwise known as the Indian Desert Cat). My drawing is based on an illustration of Indian zoology (Classic Illustrated zoologies and Related Works, 1550-1900).
I don’t consider this a substitute for my promised cat portraits of Omar, Olive and Misha. I see it instead as a warm up, an appitiser if you will. A taster to my next post... All the cats I’ve loved before.
On a totally unrelated note I’ve just read about a recently unearthed Mayan manioc field, which was preserved after being buried by ash from a volcanic eruption 1400 years ago. It is a significant discovery because it apparently explains more about the ancient Mayan diet, which up until now was thought to mainly consist of corn and beans. I haven’t heard of Manioc before, so I went and looked it up…. Has anyone eaten it before?
And just for the hell of it, here are some facts about Sperm Whales which will, I'm sure, make your day as much as they did to mine. (source)
* The Sperm Whales head, particularly in males, is typically one-third of the animal's length.
* The brain of the Sperm Whale is the largest and heaviest known of any modern or extinct animal. However, the brain is not large relative to body size.
* The whale was named after the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in its head. It was the Spermaceti oil which was saught when these animals were hunted extensivly in the 18th and 19th centuries.
* In Nantucket museum there is a jawbone of a Sperm Whale that indicates the animal must have been 28 m (90 ft) long, a mass of around 150 metric tons .
* Today, Sperm Whale males do not usually exceed 18 m (60 ft) in length and 52 metric tons (57 short tons)
* The Sperm Whale is recorded to be the loudest of all living creatures.
Medium: watercolour and pencil on Fabriano 640gsm traditional white paper
Dimensions: 18 X 26cm